BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Visitors want to know they can be safe from criminals when they attended big downtown events like Curtain Up. A viewer contacted News 4 concerned that security may be lessened in some downtown parking ramps.
Buffalo's Commissioner of Parking Enforcement Kevin Helfer confirms to News 4 that by the end of this month, there will be fewer actual security guards in the Buffalo Civic Auto ramps, but he says it's because the new surveillance cameras have actually trimmed the number of car break-ins in half, since the first of this year.
"The message is that there's always going to be a presence, and it might not be the exact way that it was in the past, and there's going to be more of a presence," Helfer said. "It might not necessarily be a security guard as people traditionally see walking a ramp, but they're going it see it in other ways; they're going to see it with Buffalo Civic personnel who are cross-trained to do multiple functions and they will be walking around, they will be more of a presence."
Some of the parking ramps are up to 10 stories tall, and even a few security guards can have a hard time covering that much territory. That's why Helfer says, in many cases, the cameras are more effective.
Ramp customer Ryon Fleming said, "I mean, I'd have to see the statistics. Nothing's ever happened to my car."
"Actually no impact, because I've never noticed security folks in the ramp," customer Tim Nold said.
If customers feel unsafe, the Buffalo Civic Auto ramps contract with Buffalo Place to provide a parking escort service.
"We will literally pick the people up, whether they get to the ramp or their place of business, and drive them to their car. So it's a different business model and it might not be the traditional way, but they will certainly see a presence in all the ramps at all the times," Helfer assured.
The security changes will be fully implemented later this month in most or all of the 11 Buffalo Civic Auto ramps in downtown Buffalo.
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